Snow is forecast for Perisher as well as the ACT and region. Photo: PerisherCanberra winters 101: a beginner’s guide
There weren’t many more important questions floating around Canberra early in the week than whether the skies would be kind to snow-lovers and let the white stuff fall over the city.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s answer is that they most likely will, while it has also warned of harsh winds and blizzard conditions in the region late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
Canberra was pelted by wet and windy weather on Tuesday afternoon, with the ACT State Emergency Services receiving 31 calls for help by 8.30pm.
Most calls were about fallen trees on roads and powerlines. The roof of an industrial building in Fyshwick was also damaged.
If anyone in Canberra thought Tuesday felt particularly icy, they weren’t mistaken with the apparent temperature dipping to a frosty minus 5.3 degrees shortly before 5.30pm, even though the actual temperature was 5.3 degrees.
Canberrans will probably have to be quick to catch the snow if it does arrive; bureau forecaster Katarina Kovacevic predicted most would fall in early hours of Wednesday morning.
“For the actual city of Canberra it looks like it will just be snow flurries,” she said.
“It could be more over the hills of Canberra where it could reach a couple of centimetres, but there is a possibility of a dust of snow in the city.
“The best time to catch it is the morning as by the afternoon it will still be fairly cool but probably warm enough for the snow to melt.”
But it probably won’t be warm enough for Canberrans to put their beanies and gloves away.
The bureau’s severe weather warning predicts a cold front with winds averaging 50 to 60 kilometres an hour and possibly up to 90 kilometres an hour. #Cold temps on the way, bringing #snow to the #ACT tonight. Check the latest forecast at https://t杭州龙凤419/lfciu6Nkv5pic.twitter杭州龙凤419m/VfueFpjKxG— BOM ACT (@BOM_ACT) July 11, 2016
The warning was also for people in South Coast, Southern Tablelands, Riverina, Snowy Mountains, and parts of the Hunter, Central Tablelands, South West Slopes and Lower Western Forecast Districts. Severe Weather Warning updated at https://t杭州龙凤419/3m5UV65Zo5. Damaging winds possible in the #ACT later today and Wed. pic.twitter杭州龙凤419m/8iBv6Nye2O— BOM ACT (@BOM_ACT) July 12, 2016
Ms Kovacevic said the strong, gusty front was expected to build throughout Tuesday and ease Wednesday afternoon, but overnight temperatures would remain freezing all week.
Wednesday night was tipped to fall to -1 degrees, followed by even lower temperatures of -4 degrees for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The coldest day was forecast to be Wednesday’s top of 6 degrees, followed by a gradual reach to 15 degrees by the weekend.
The wet weather was expected to clear Wednesday evening and stay away until Monday.
Acting director for Roads ACT Ken Marshall urged motorists to stay safe throughout the harsh weather.
“The predicted snowfall is likely to see an impact on our roads, so I urge motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to be vigilant and exercise caution,” Mr Marshall said.
“The roads may be slippery or icy, even if there is no snow. Some road closures may need to be put in place so please obey any signage or traffic marshals.”
The ACT government said there was a chance that the Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve would close due to the dangerous conditions.
In anticipation of the snow, Mount Franklin Road was closed at Piccadilly Circus, along with Two Sticks Road within Brindabella National Park, on Tuesday afternoon.
The government said the roads would be closed until further notice.